President Biden advised against former President Trump receiving intelligence briefings and signaled willingness to negotiate on targeted COVID-19 relief checks in a preview of his interview on CBS’ “60 Minutes” set to air Sunday.
Asked whether Trump should receive intelligence briefings, given Biden’s oversight on the matter and how former presidents often have the opportunity to receive intelligence briefings as a courtesy, the President rejected the notion.
Biden replied he “thinks not,” citing Trump’s “erratic behavior unrelated to the insurrection.”
Although Biden did not detail his concerns about the consequences of Trump potentially continuing to receive intelligence briefings after leaving office last month, the President argued there’s no need for Trump to have access to them.
“I’d rather not speculate out loud,” Biden said. “I just think that there is no need for him to have the intelligence briefings. What value is giving him an intelligence briefing? What impact does he have at all, other than the fact he might slip and say something?”
After a preview of Biden’s “60 Minutes” interview aired, the White House on Saturday explained that Biden will leave the decision regarding Trump’s access to intelligence briefings to Intelligence officials.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement on Saturday that Biden expressed his “concerns” about the former president having access to sensitive intelligence.
“The President was expressing his concern about former president Trump receiving access to sensitive intelligence, but he also has deep trust in his own intelligence team to make a determination about how to provide intelligence information if at any point the former president Trump requests a briefing,” Psaki said.
Last month, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Sen. Angus King (I-ME) — who sit on the House and Senate Intelligence Committees, respectively — urged Biden to prohibit Trump from receiving intelligence briefings upon becoming a private citizen. Schiff and King’s calls for Biden came less than a week after the House voted to impeach Trump for the second time for “incitement of insurrection.”
Although he didn’t provide a clear answer as to whether Biden will follow through with calls to cut off Trump from intelligence briefings when his presidency ends, then-incoming White House chief of staff Ron Klain didn’t rule out the possibility during an interview on CNN last month.
“We’ll certainly look for a recommendation from the intelligence professionals in the Biden-Harris administration once they’re in place and act on that recommendation,” Klain said last month.
Biden also signaled willingness to negotiate regarding who qualifies for the $1,400 payments that are part of his $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan addressing the COVID-19 crisis. Last week, the President met with House Democrats and Republican senators, who offered their own $600 billion COVID-19 counterproposal.
“I’m prepared to negotiate that,” Biden said, referring to who would be qualified for the $1,400 COVID-19 relief checks. “But here’s the deal: middle class folks need help.”
Biden also said he is willing to negotiate on whether a minimum wage increase to $15 an hour is included.
Biden doubted that a minimum wage increase will ultimately make it into the American Rescue Plan, citing “the rules of the United States Senate.”
“I put it in, but I don’t think it’s going to survive,” Biden said.
Biden said that as an alternative, he is prepared to work on a standalone $15 minimum wage proposal.
“But I do think that we should have a minimum wage, stand by itself, $15 an hour and work your way up to the — it doesn’t have to be boom. And all the economics show, if you do that, the whole economy rises,” Biden said. “I am prepared, as president of the United States on a separate negotiation on minimum wage, to work my way up from what it is now, which is — look, no one should work 40 hours a week and live below the poverty wage. And if you’re making less than $15 an hour, you’re living below the poverty wage.”
Watch a preview of Biden’s CBS interview below: